India is a land of fascinating contrasts. Here the past meets the present and traditions coexist with technology. While on one side the great sages enthusiastically participate in massive religious gatherings and on the other side the premier Space Research Organisation stretches its wings to the moon and Mars. It is this contrast and diversity of this sub-continent that make India a unique destination for travelers.
Here, I’m recommending some of the lesser-known destinations that adorn this great land. Before these untouched destinations make it to the main tourist circuit, you should visit these. Don’t wait too long to get your India visa if you are planning to visit India. Just go for it!
Shojna is a hidden Jewel adorning the mountains of Himachal Pradesh. The beautiful wooden temples and captivating scenery that encapsulates Shojna will make you want to own a piece of land here. The Serolsar lake, Jalori pass, and the Waterfall Point are the star attractions of this little hamlet. The best time to visit this place is from April to June when the great Himalayas will greet and treat you like the Gods descending on the mountains for vacations.
If you are a nature lover but abhor following the crowd and love discovering new shores that can be weaved into a romantic and adventurous travelogue, then Tirthan valley is just the place for you. Perched at a height of 1600 meters in Banjar in the Himalayan Kingdom, Tirthan Valley gives you ample scope for adventures like trekking, fishing and nature gazing. If you are not looking for the adrenaline rush, then you can relax against the backdrop of the Hanskund Springs leading to the Tirthan river. Here you can live in one of the Riverside homes just relax or discover the hidden waterfall while hiking to Rolla village. You wouldn’t like to miss out on the three-storey temple built near the beautiful Parashar lake.
If Kerala is God’s own country, then Ponmudi is God’s own backyard. With its natural landscapes, tea plantations and attractions, Ponmudi is a rising star among the tourists visiting Kerala every year. Be it the hypnotizing Kallar river, the amazing lush green Golden Valley or the impressive Meenmutty waterfalls, Ponmudi is sure to cast a spell on you. If you visit Ponmudi between August and September, then you can treat your eyes to the magnificent and colorful Aaranmula boat race that is organized as a part of Aaranmula temple festivities.
Located in Vidharbha in Maharashtra, Tadoba is one of the most underrated and yet fascinating national parks. The Tadoba National Park and Tadoba-Andheri tiger reserve make the place a must visit for all wildlife enthusiasts. The tiger reserve is well preserved and covers an area of 625 square kilometers. The best time to be in Tadoba is between October and February. One should avoid visiting the place in the scorching summer heat. You can spot the four-horned antelope, langurs, sambhar and chitals in the Tacoma National Park. The national park might not be best known for tiger sighting, but the dense forest is one of the least touched spots in India.
Image source: cntraveller.in
It’s a well-established fact that India has been the point of convergence of many religions known to the world including Buddhism. India boasts of some of the most celebrated monasteries in the world. And for those interested in the serenity and tranquillity of a monastery minus the crowds, Tawang presents a beautiful alternative. The breath-taking valley of Tawang is situated in the northeastern mountainous state of Arunachal Pradesh and holds the distinction of being the birthplace of his holiness Dalai Lama. If you want an escape from the sweltering heat of the summer then Tawang is your ideal choice as this picturesque valley remains cool even at the height of summer. When in Tawang, visit the Tawang monastery, Sela pass, Bula pass, Nuranang waterfalls, and the tranquil Madhuri lake.
Some of the areas near Tawang are not accessible to foreign nationals without special permits. It’s better if you check this with your Visa agency. One such agency which can help you with Visas is E-visums.
Uttarakhand boasts of some of the best destinations not just in the Indian subcontinent but the whole world. Located in the hilly state of Uttarakhand, Naukuchiatal is one such magical lake village that captivates the imagination of all the tourists. The place is famous for the Naukuchiatal lake which gets its name from the nine corners of the magnificent lake that is gifted with spellbinding surroundings. Boating in this picturesque landscape is an unforgettable experience. It is rumored that one can attain salvation with a mere glimpse of the nine corners of this lake. You may also like to visit Mukteshwar, Bhimtal lake and the Vaishno Devi temple when you visit Naukuchiatal.
Tamenglong is popularly known as the Land of the Hornbill. There are many wildlife sanctuaries in India, but none of them compare to the natural beauty of Tamenglong. Located in the northeastern state of Manipur, Tamenglong is rich in flora and fauna and is famous for its oranges. The forests of this magnificent hilly destination will enthrall you with glimpses of hyenas, tigers, hog deer, wild dogs, and leopards. You can rest among the orchards and devour the luscious oranges as you admire the natural beauty of this place. The Zeilad lake, Barak waterfall, and the Buning Meadows are some of the other tourist spots you can visit.
There is a reason that the creator has blessed our planet with seventy percent water. The magical properties of this element rejuvenate and revitalize us. This can be experienced by visiting the amazing beaches and coastal areas of the Indian subcontinent. However, with most beaches in India becoming crowded and commercialized, tourists are left with few options but to share the overcrowded beaches or to discover Virgin beaches for themselves. Located in Baleshwar in the eastern state of Odisha is one such Virgin beach. This serene water Kingdom is yet to fall prey to the vices of commercialization and is the perfect spot for you to dance with the waves and sway with the coconut trees. Even the red crabs meandering on the surface of the Talasari beach will vouch for the purity of this tranquil beach.
Seated on the Pingnath peak in the picturesque state of Uttarakhand, this small town boasts of arguably the best views of Nanda Devi, Trishul and Panchchuli peaks and these panoramic views make Kausani a photographer’s paradise. Kausani is also blessed with dense pine forests that add to its splendor. This is the place Gandhiji used to visit to find peace and you can still visit the Gandhi ashram dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi. Some of the other tourist attractions in Kausani include the Rudradhari falls, Kausani tea estate, the Stargate observatory, and the Anasakti ashram.
If you are an adventure seeker then you must visit Vihigaon during the monsoons. Situated in the Western state of Maharashtra, Vihigaon is rapidly climbing the ladder of popular adventure sports destinations where you can participate in canyoneering, river tracing, and water rappelling, but you would probably need to be a fitness freak to get on these teams and enjoy the thrills not meant for the weak at heart. Visit the Ashoka falls in Vihigaon during the monsoon and you wouldn’t forget the sight of this magical fall for a long time. Experiencing the falls from close quarters may transcend you to a different world.
These are just a few examples of what India holds. It is a massive country and what is popular in the tourist circuit is just a tip of the iceberg. Explore India and discover these lesser-known destinations and you’ll have an unforgettable trip.